Pakistan Election: Looking Good So Far
The people themselves chose as wisely as they could under the circumstances, and the Islamist MMA was routed - illustrating a laudable commitment to secularist politics.
Furthermore, Bhutto's tainted widower, Asif Zardari, will not stand for prime minister which is quite a relief. That does leave us, however, with a major question: is there anyone out there with the strength and popular support to lead the country?
Reinstating Nawaz Sharif would be a major mistake: an Islamist appeaser in the mould of General Zia, he is demonstrably not a safe pair of hands. Musharraf's initial coup in 1999 was something of a deliverance.
But no name springs to mind that could hold together a PPP/PML(N) coalition for long, even if the bombers don't strike first. If the civilian leadership proves weak, and begins to crack under pressure from the US to take more decisive action on the militants, would the army or ISI effect another coup?
"We will work together to form the government in the centre and in the provinces," Mr Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N), said at a joint news conference with Mr Zardari.
He said the two parties had agreed that the country's chief justice, sacked by President Musharraf in November, should be immediately reinstated.
Mr Zardari said there was "a lot of ground to cover" between the two parties, but "in principle, we have agreed to stay together".
Doubts remain about who will emerge as a possible prime minister.